Businessweek Archives

Four-Day Workweek: The Answer to Gas Prices?


Simple answer: No. That’s an old game.

While well-meaning politicians, corporate executives and school administrators begin exploring, and even mandating, “four-day workweeks” to fight the pain at the pump, we scratch our heads. Why not shift the work environment to one where physical presence, the quantity of hours one works, and the commute itself are rendered obsolete?

It’s time to start viewing office work as something we do, not related to a place we go.

Merely showing up at a job doesn’t deliver business results. People are showing up at their jobs today, and may or may not be getting anything done. A four-day workweek only sustains this system of time equating to productivity.

Yes, we agree that reducing your commute by one day may save some money, but let’s offer people the opportunity to experience some real savings – and for businesses to unleash the full potential of their employees.

Final note: check out this nifty calculator that lets you figure out whether or not you should move closer to work in order to save money on commuting costs. You’re supposed to fiddle with the cost-of-the-new-house variable and the distance variable, but we played with the number of commuting days a week. Moving closer to work can make a difference…but only driving to an official physical office space two or three days a week saves you BIG.


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